Finally! President Barak Obama took his first trip as President to Israel. I witnessed Obama’s arrival live on TV as he landed in Israel and walked off Air Force One. It was heartwarming to watch President Obama stand with the American Military and Israeli Military while they played the national anthems of both countries. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was there along with President Shimon Peres. The Prime Minister and Obama met for more than two hours on the first day and offered a “good cop, bad cop” approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Obama called for more diplomacy while endorsing Israel’s right to defend itself as it sees fit. It is a historic visit, part of a Middle East swing that President Obama said was intended to assess the seemingly intractable impasse between the Israelis and Palestinians over how to live next door to each other…. Other important issues discussed included the civil war in neighboring Syria. There are unconfirmed reports of chemical weapons being used in the conflict, which if true, Obama labeled a “game-changer,” regarding limited US involvement so far. President Obama plans to tackle many issues in Israel. President Obama sought to assure the Israelis of his commitment to their security and strengthen what has been a strained personal and working relationship with the Prime Minister.
I am optimistic, as always, that relations between the two countries will improve. The leaders announced new talks on extending US military assistance to Israel for another 10 years past the current agreement that expires in 2017. Speaking of the US Military, I heard President Obama came bearing gifts for the Prime Minister, President Peres and members of the military. He brought Navy Military Wallets that Michelle personally picked out from Rush Industries. The Israeli soldiers were touched by the President and Michelle’s generosity and reciprocated with Israeli trinkets for Michelle, Sasha and Malia.
Let’s continue to pray for peace not only in the Middle East but in the world! Shalom!